Curt Yeomans covers government for the Clayton News Daily. He can be reached at via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leave it to Facebook to make me feel deflated and somewhat inferior about the extent of my travels.
There are some new, travel-related applications people can add to their Facebook pages. They are just fun little applications to see how well-traveled you are, compared to your friends.
One is a challenge to show how many U.S. states you have visited. The challenge is that most people have not been to more than 10 states. I have been to 31 states in all.
A similar application lets people show off how many countries they have visited. The creators say they think most people have been to fewer than four countries (out of 246 nations), including their home country. I have been to seven countries, including the U.S.
A third application is designed to let people show many must-see sites, out of a list of 100 total locales, they have visited. This is my favorite, because I think it actually shows how well-traveled a person is, or (in my case) isn’t.
I have been to several places on the list, including: Big Ben; the Coliseum; the Eiffel Tower; the Empire State Building; New Orleans’ French Quarter; the Gettysburg (Penn.) Battlefield; the Golden Gate Bridge; the Grand Canyon; Hollywood Boulevard (Hollywood, Calif.); the Louvre (Paris); the Metropolitan Museum of Art (in New York City); Napa Valley; Niagara Falls; and Notre Dame Cathedral (Paris).
I have also been to Portland (Maine) Head Lighthouse; the Redwood National Park in California; the ruins of Pompeii; the Sistine Chapel, the Sears Tower (now the Willis Tower); the Smithsonian Institute; St Peter’s Basilica; the Statue of Liberty; Times Square; Walt Disney World Resort (Orlando); the Washington Monument, and the White House.
In a few months, I will be able to add Stonehenge to that list.
The application’s challenge is that its creators bet that most people have been to fewer than nine sites, out of the 100 places on the list. I have been to 26 of those places.
Some of the other places on the list — that I have not visited — include: Angkor Wat; the Atlantic City boardwalk; Bora Bora; the canals of Amsterdam; the Cathedral of Seville (Spain); the Dead Sea; Beijing’s Forbidden City; St. Louis’ Gateway Arch; the Galapagos Islands; Venice’s Grand Canal; the Great Barrier Reef; the Great Wall of China; Hagia Sophia; the Matterhorn, and the Mayan Pyramids of Chichen Itza.
After I participated in this particular challenge, I had the sobering realization that my limited amount of traveling is insignificant, because I have not been to places, such as the Taj Mahal, or the Pyramids of Giza, or Crater Lake National Park, or the Pebble Beaches of Nice, France. I have only been to a paltry one-quarter of the world’s must-see sites. That is not enough. Nothing less than 50 percent will do for me.
You see, I am addicted to traveling. Of course, that is probably a “Duh!” moment for you all, since it is practically the only thing my columns have been about since the summer of 2009. I just like getting out and seeing the world. It’s my thing. As soon as I finish one trip, I am already looking ahead to where I am going next.
Dang it! As soon as I am able, I am going to jump in my car and drive out to San Antonio, so I can check off the Alamo! Then I’m going to head off to Death Valley, and Yosemite National Park, so I can check them off, too!
Darn you, Facebook, for feeding my need to travel to as many places as I can.
Curt Yeomans covers government and politics for the Clayton News Daily. He can be reached at (770) 478-5753, ext. 247, or via e-mail at email@example.com.